Crows start 2015 with a gritty league win

Kaan Fehmi for Royston

Kaan Fehmi for Royston - Credit: Archant

Kaan Fehmi’s left foot allowed the Crows to begin 2015 on the right foot as they overcame in-form Barton Rovers by a single goal.

Steve Castle re-shuffled his pack due to injuries, illness, suspensions and unavailability but came up with a squad that were certainly up for the job.

Early half chances fell to the hard working duo of Ryan Lockett and Ryan Ingrey but their efforts were dealt with competently while Barton forged their own early forays that saw the Crows’ experienced defensive line-up communicating well and organised enough to deal with.

With the soft pitch cutting up and sizeable divots appearing, the already challenging surface proved to be a factor in this game making close control difficult and ground based passing tricky to say the least.

The committed visitors demonstrated why they have been building some momentum this season by forcing a series of corners and it was here when Ron Yates stood tall making some important stops – notably a fine double block and tackle sequence that was executed with a level head and concentration to ensure clean and timely challenges.

On 55 minutes, a half chance fell to Lockett and his driven effort was deflected for a Crows’ corner that Stuart Bridges, having an impressive match in central midfield, went over to deliver.

The deftly delivered corner ball hung tantalisingly, begging to be either struck goalward or cleared, but it avoided all efforts and fell at the far post for the ever alert Fehmi to demonstrate his prowess in scoring important goals as he swept it in left-footed low and firm.

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In response, Barton showed good intent and stretched themselves, going three at the back, but it was Royston’s organisation and dominant defending that held firm. Yates was again proving a mountain too big to negotiate as he batted away the visitors’ advances.

Reece Dobson had a good chance to seal the win in the stretched last minutes, but, when found by a good through-ball, his first touch was heavy and it ran through to a grateful keeper.

It did not matter though as the Crows held everything tight, despite late Barton pressure to record their first win of the calendar year.

Royston jump to sixth in Southern League Division One Central.